Carma Morgan – da Vinci Hysterectomy Success Story

Time for a change: A da Vinci hysterectomy sets Carma Morgan free from discomfort and fear

Carma MorganCarma Morgan considers April 29 a pivotal day in her well-being. It’s when the 47-year-old wife and mother of “five phenomenal girls” — as she affectionately refers to them — had a hysterectomy with the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System, putting an end to long, heavy menstrual periods and a fear of cancer.

“I had heard women say, ‘My periods are so heavy,’” she says. “I didn’t know what that meant until I experienced them for myself.”

Caught off guard

For years, Carma had regular menstrual flows lasting only a few days. Then two years ago, her flow began to increase.

Her primary care physician, Jill Waggoner, MD, with Methodist Charlton Medical Group, found an ovarian cyst and referred her to De Shawndranique Gray, MD, OB-GYN at Methodist Charlton Medical Center. While the cyst was noncancerous, the very thought of it unsettled Carma.

“My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and I just didn’t want the possibility of cancer lingering over me,” she says. “I kept wondering, Can it turn into cancer? Can the cyst grow?”

Relief from a robot

By February this year, Carma’s menstrual flow had become so heavy that she was wearing multiple pads at a time and still bleeding through.

“I was horrified,” she says.

Dr. Gray suspected adenomyosis, a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows within the muscle of the uterus.

Women can either treat the symptoms (with medication and hormones) or have a hysterectomy. Carma chose the latter.

“I was at a point that I was done having children, and having the cyst still nagged at the back of my mind,” she says. “But the selling point for me was the recovery time. Whoever came up with the da Vinci robot was a genius.”

The da Vinci Surgical System allows surgeons extreme precision in operating through multiple small abdominal incisions rather than one large incision. The result is a safer procedure with a faster recovery — only 10 days compared to six weeks with a traditional hysterectomy.

“The thing I like most is that my patients have less pain,” Dr. Gray says. “And from my perspective, the robot allows me to remove or maneuver around scar tissue more easily. Plus, my patients go home the same day as the procedure, need less pain medication, and get back to their daily activities more quickly.”

Loving her life, loving herself

Carma is still a woman with demands on her time, including her career in education and running a successful online fashion business. But she praises Methodist Charlton and da Vinci for her newfound sense of freedom.

“It’s a relief to have the cyst gone, to know that cancer doesn’t have to be my story,” she says. Plus, she’s no longer held back by debilitating menstrual cycles.

She encourages other women to prioritize their health, as well.

“As women, we tend to plan our health care around our jobs and families,” she says. “In this case, I intentionally refused to let anything get in the way of taking care of myself. I would tell any woman, ‘Love yourself enough to take care of yourself. That way you can be here to be a part of your legacy.’”